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Deep frying turkeys poses fire hazard

One method for preparing turkeys that seems to be gaining popularity across the United States involves deep frying. While deep frying may cut down on cooking time and the result may be tasty, deep frying turkeys also poses fire and burn hazards.The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that improperly used turkey fryers have contributed to house fires and severe burns caused by splashing hot oil. The CPSC warns consumers to “… monitor the temperature of the oil closely. If any smoke at all is noticed coming from a heating pot of oil, the burner should be turned off immediately because the oil is overheated.”One way to help keep your home safe and to prevent burns is to thoroughly thaw and dry all meats before putting them in the deep fryer.The CPSC recommends the following if you’re going to deep fry your turkey:

  • Keep fryer in full view while the burner is on.
  • Place fryer in an open area away from all walls, fences or other structures.
  • Never use in, on or under a garage, breezeway, carport, porch or any structure that can catch fire.
  • Raise and lower food slowly to reduce splatter and avoid burns.
  • Cover bare skin when adding or removing food.
  • Check the oil temperature frequently.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply off.
  • If a fire occurs, immediately call 911. Do not attempt to extinguish the fire with water.
The CPSC also offers the following safety tips for preparing your turkey fryer:
  • Make sure there is at least two feet of space between the liquid propane tank and the fryer burner.
  • Place the liquid propane gas tank and fryer so that any wind blows the heat of the fryer away from the gas tank.
  • Center the pot over the burner on the cooker.
  • Completely thaw and dry the turkey before cooking.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to add. If those are not available, use the following guidelines:
  • Place the turkey in a pot.
  • Fill with water until the turkey is covered by about 1/2 inch of water.
  • Remove the turkey and dry it.
  • Mark the water level. Dump the water, dry the pot and fill it with oil to the mark.
No matter how you prepare your holiday turkey, do it safely and keep your holiday season fire free.

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